AMMAN – His Majesty King Abdullah, accompanied by Her Majesty Queen Rania, on Friday left Amman for working visits to the US and Peru.
The King is due to deliver Jordan’s address to the United Nations General Assembly gathering and meet other heads of states and delegation leaders.
In the Peruvian capital of Lima, the King will take part in the third Arab-South American Summit which will open October 1.
His Majesty is scheduled to deliver Jordan’s address to the summit and meet other heads of delegations.
HRH Prince Ali was sworn in as regent during the King’s absence in the presence of Cabinet members.
In an statement to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, before his departure, King Abdullah reaffirmed that Jordan will forge ahead with the reform process “that will take Jordan to a new era of progress”.
He said the upcoming legislative polls, expected before the end of the year, constitute a prelude to this stage which will lead to the formation of parliamentary governments.
His Majesty urged citizens to protect their right to register for and take part in the voting process, underlining the need to select the candidates and political parties that carry the promise of serving the country in the best manner and who carry clear and practical, realistic platforms tackling various economic, social, health, educational and other challenges.
Voting for the next parliament means also shaping the next government and influencing public policies and decision making with regards to issues of concern to the country and its people, the King said.
He added that the roadmap for reform was already made clear for the upcoming stage which will witness dissolving Parliament and announcing a date for elections which will produce a new Parliament by the beginning of the year.
The new stage, he continued, will also witness the birth of the Constitutional Court with naming of its members, which is considered a key requirement for the ongoing reform process.
The King stressed that no party would be allowed to interfere in the progress of the upcoming elections, stressing that this is a “red line” that no one should cross under any pretext.
He also said the ongoing voter registration process is considered an important step in the political reform roadmap, paying tribute to the work carried out by the Independent Elections Commission which is “working in accordance with the highest standards of transparency and integrity.”
His Majesty expressed hope that Jordan would soon witness the emergence of strong political parties from across the political spectrum, saying such parties should adopt practical, realistic programmes on various issues of concern to the public.
He said the next parliament might have several political parties, independents as well as blocs that are expected to form coalitions that would produce parliamentary governments.
The King said the situation in Syria and issues related to the stalled Mideast peace process would be the main issues that he would tackle in his address to the United Nations General Assembly, as well as in his meetings with heads of state and delegations attending the meeting.
Jordan is a true believer in the centrality and justice of the Palestinian cause and is a supporter of the rights of the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights, mainly their right to establish their independent state on their national soil in accordance with the border of the June 4, 1967 border, with Jerusalem as its capital, the King stressed.
He said that Jordan’s position on the Syrian crisis is clear, based on the need to intensify efforts to reach a solution that would pave the way for a peaceful transfer of power in accordance with international law, and in a manner that would safeguard the country’s territorial integrity and the unity of its people and brings an end to violence and bloodshed.
Syrian refugees in Jordan will also be a main issue of discussion, said the King, particularly that their large number is placing extra burdens on the Kingdom, especially in view of its limited resources and capabilities. Jordan currently hosts more than 200,000 Syrians escaping the conflict in their country.